SW: The Carbon Freeze Sequence

Ever wanted to know what geek children did in the 80s? This is just like what I did (only done by adults and for a movie). The Carbon Freeze Sequence

UPDATE: Originally I tried to post the YouTube video with the object and embed tags. However, it seems LJ prohibits the use of object and embed HTML for security reasons. I can dig it. Just a little annoying. UPDATE 2011-JAN-23: WordPress does let me embed video. So in fixing the broken link, I found it on Vimeo. (Original was on Youtube.) Only Vimeo does not let me share it?

Moz Outside Looking In

Yeah, this one is a royal pain. Mozilla removes support for older versions of their browser six months after the new one went into production. Open source is nimble. Proprietary companies are inflexible. Sounds like its time to go after nimble applications?

Why Mozilla still hasn’t cracked the enterprise | May 24, 2006 07:12 PM | By Matt Asay

[A] hurdle Firefox must overcome is the “heartbreakingly slow” process many enterprises go through to certify the use of a tool as critical as a Web browser, according to Baker.

Taking Screenshots of web pages without Spending $40

Screen Grab will be very useful. It is easy enough to take screenshots, past them into GIMP and save them as PNG. Why do that when you can have something do it for you in one step?

Take Screen Capture of Webpages in Firefox » Digital Inspiration: Software Reviews, Technology News, Downloads, Productivity Tips

As the name suggests, Screen Grab saves the entire webpage as an image. The screengrab plugin can capture the current browser window, any visible portion of the browser window and even capture the entire website being viewed in Firefox.

When you capture the whole web document, this screen capture plugin scrolls the page around taking snapshots every time. At the end it stitches them all back together again and asks you where you’d like to save the image. The screenshots are saved as PNG format. Screengrab requires Java Virtual Machine. Supports Firefox 1.0+

The Value of a Few Extra Clicks

Google Agrees to Settle ‘Click Fraud’ Case – Yahoo! News

Mountain View, Calif.-based Google makes virtually all of its money from text-based advertising links that trigger commissions each time they are clicked on. Besides enriching Google, the system has been a boon for advertisers, whose sales have been boosted by an increased traffic from prospective buyers.

But sometimes mischief makers and scam artists repeatedly click on specific advertising links even though they have no intentions of buying anything. The motives for the malicious activity known as click fraud vary widely, but the net effect is the same: advertisers end up paying for fruitless Web traffic.

The lawsuit alleged Google had conspired with its advertising partners to conceal the magnitude of click fraud to avoid making refunds.

The frequency of click fraud hasn’t been quantified, causing some stock market analysts to worry Google’s profits will falter if it turns out to be a huge problem.

Google executives have repeatedly said the level of click fraud on its ad network is minuscule — a contention that the proposed settlement amount seems to support.

The $90 million translates into less than 1 percent of Google’s $11.2 billion in revenue during the past four years.

Portable Digitial Life

Pretty good article which mentions a mainstay of the WWWAC lists, John Haller.

Portable apps get a thumbs-up — Newsday.com

[John] Haller … is involved in an industry initiative that’s being supported by most major USB drive manufacturers under the rubric of U3. U3 is for pen/USB drives only, but it incorporates additional user-friendly features: When you insert the pen drive into your computer, it automatically brings up a menu of available applications, and it incorporates an installer to manage things. This has spawned some commercial software, particularly for encryption and virus removal. The definitive site for U3 software and hardware is www.u3.com.

There are two main reasons for the increasing popularity of portable apps. The obvious one is convenience. You can use the same programs on every computer, not just move your data around. You keep your settings, your bookmarks, your address book, all correspondence and files on a 1-gigabyte pen drive, or even on your iPod. Work at home, work in the office, work at grandma’s – any place there’s a computer, you’re able to function.

Less obviously, your data is more secure. As we saw a few weeks back, programs that break Windows security on-site are widely available and increasingly user-friendly. If your programs and data are in your pocket, you’re not about to be compromised by your boss, a co-worker, spouse, child or parent.

Its funny this article starts off talking about how great the floppies were pre-hard drives. One put in the floppy and ran everything from it. Those were great times. However, the “data is more secure” is not so true. Computer viruses were spread far and wide by these floppies. Our 8088 contracted more than a few computer viruses by getting infected stuff from friends. Updated anti-virus software should be more common than it is. People are not all that concerned about contracting a computer virus until it wipes out everything.

Keyloggers are all the rage, right? What about a program that looks for your USB key and copies off everything in the background to send to a third party? Oh… you kept your credit card information in a Word document on the USB key? What if a pickpocket takes your USB key? What if you leave it in a restaurant or a cab? Oops.

Portable Firefox is awesome. I will have to update it to a more current version. Portable OpenOffice, Anti-Virus, and others do look to have much usefulness, especially when the computer may not have an Internet connection. My low-tech method has really been to keep a “PC Rescue” section on my flash drive and update it before I go visit someone to help.

Blackboard and WebCT Merger

The threats to switch to Moodle are a little premature over the announcment of the Blackboard and WebCT merger. Moodle seems more like a content management system than a learning management system. Some thoughts

  • Support for WebCT’s existing products is not going away in the near term.
  • Products currently in development probably will finish.
  • Blackboard has excellent design concepts WebCT can use and vice versa. A combination of the two could be the best of both worlds.

Machines Better Programmers than Humans

… Computers now create programs that solve complex problems better than programs designed by people….

Grasemann and Miikkulainen applied genetic algorithms to solve the fingerprint compression puzzle in work supported by the National Science Foundation’s Computer and Information Science and Engineering directorate. They provided their computer with the basic programming instructions needed to compress graphic images and then waited for a better algorithm to be born. The progress of the evolving program was tested at each generation. After 50 generations, the genetic algorithm consistently outperformed the human-derived WSQ.

Machines Better Programmers than Humans

Goody! First my job could be going to offshore outsourcing. Now my job could be going to a computer.

Web Design Job

UPDATE: Position filled.

Valdosta State Information Technology is hiring 2 Web Design student assistants.

Web Design student assistants are responsible for creating and maintaining several department web sites, surveys, and other projects. Individuals will be responsible for interacting with representatives to build web pages and perform basic graphic design to complete websites from existing web template designs. Additionally, individuals work with any students, staff, and faculty who require assistance in developing class or work related sites.

Qualifications:

  1. Ability to learn. Candidate must show they can adapt to the rapidly changing technology landscape.
  2. Some experience with one or more web design or image applications:
    • Photo Editing: Adobe Photoshop, GIMP, Paint Shop Pro
    • Web Design: FrontPage, Netscape Composer, Dreamweaver
  3. Effective verbal and written communication skills and the ability to interact professionally with a diverse group of users and support staff.
  4. Ability to clearly document all projects.
  5. Desire to learn web scripting languages: Perl, ASP, PHP

Students majoring in computer science, art, public relations, or marketing preferred. Self-taught designers welcome.

Send resume and examples of previous work to me.